Updated at 5.59pm: Hong Kong has won the bid to host the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) Telecom World expo in 2006 - it is expected to bring in $1.2 billion in revenue, Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen announced on Thursday. The event - estimated to cost $70 million - will be staged at the AsiaWorld Expo adjacent to Chek Lap Kok airport. This the first time an international telecom expo will be hosted outside its home city of Geneva, where it is held every three to four years. The event will bring together telecom experts, heads of state, political leaders, regulators and CEOs of multinational corporations. Mr Tang said he was confident Hong Kong would put on a successful expo. Hong Kong defeated Geneva in final negotiations after the ITU ruled out Milan, Istanbul and Algiers in March. ITU secretary-general Yoshio Utsumi said Hong Kong's gateway to explore the Chinese mainland market would 'give a clear and distinct advantage to both the event stakeholders and ITU'. 'Hong Kong's offer tops the Geneva bid - with direct costs between 30 per cent to 50 per cent lower. This is in addition to a sizeable level of guaranteed sales by Chinese companies and lower indirect costs such as sub-contractor rates or hotel rates,' Mr Utsumi said. The most recent expo was held in Geneva in 2003; it brought together 911 exhibitors representing 51 countries. Over 500 world leaders and CEOs of multinational firms attended.